Pain can interfere with work and daily activities and affect the quality of life. Most pain can be managed with the help of a physical therapist without prescribing opioids. Physical therapists are exercise professionals who manage pain through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed exercise.
Here are a few things your physical therapist wants you to know about pain.
1. Pain is output from the brain.
We used to believe that pain originated in the tissues of the body. We now understand that pain does not exist until the brain recognizes that it exists. This process is a means of communication between the brain and the tissues of the body and acts as a defense against possible injury and disease.
2. The degree of injury and the degree of pain does not always match.
Research shows that we all experience pain in individual ways. Some of us have had major injuries with little pain, while others have minor injuries (think scissors cuts) with great pain.
3. Whatever your imaging studies (MRI, X-rays, CT) show may not be the cause of your pain.
A study of people over the age of 60 who had no symptoms of back pain found :
- 36% had disc herniation.
- 21% had spinal stenosis.
- More than 90% had disc degeneration or bulging in imaging studies.
4. Psychological factors, such as depression and anxiety, can make the pain worse.
Pain can be influenced by many factors, including psychological conditions. A recent study published in the Journal of Pain showed that psychological variables that existed before total knee replacement surgery were associated with patients’ long-term pain experience after surgery.
5. The social environment can influence pain perception.
Many patients report increased pain at work or in stressful situations. Pain messages can be sent when a person is in an environment or situation that the brain interprets as unsafe. It is the basic form of self-defense.
6. Understanding pain through education can reduce the need for care.
A large-scale study of military personnel found that those who underwent a 45-minute pain recognition session made less effort with their back pain than others.
7. Our brain can be tricked into developing prosthetic pain.
Studies show that our brains can be tricked. They can develop a ‘carried over’ sensation in the amputated limb, causing ‘pain’ that appears to come from a prosthetic or ‘phantom’ limb. This sensation is created by correlating the brain’s perception of the state of the body at birth and its current state (after amputation).
8. There is no way to know if you have a high pain tolerance. Science has yet to discover whether we all experience pain in the same way.
Some people claim to have a “high tolerance” to pain, but there is no way to accurately measure or compare people’s pain tolerance. There are some tools that measure how much force you can endure before you feel pain, but there is no way to determine “how” pain feels.
To know more bout your pain condition and to manage your pain properly visit Specialty Care Clinics. Call us and book an appointment immediately.